Vincent and Gorbing were appointed to design the facilities to cope with recent growth and future demand of The Wine Society. This warehouse is the first building of its type in the UK to use off-site construction techniques involving pre-formed wall panels of the energy saving material Tradical Hemcrete.
The design responded to the requirement for minimal heating and cooling equipment with the resultant reduction in energy consumption. This is achieved by using Hemcrete cladding which offers excellent insulation properties and maintains a stable internal air temperature. The use of this material (a mixture of hemp stalk and modified lime) is the first time this method of construction has been used in a warehouse building of this type. The hemp, the key element in this product, is grown and harvested in the UK.
The 21m double height structure allows high storage that takes full advantage of new forklift truck technology. The warehouse is naturally lit by Kalwall, panels which offer up to 50% light transmission. The combination of internal and exterior panels provides an insulated internal space which exceeds current Building Regulations.
This project won the RICS Sustainability Award in 2009. It was also awarded the Hertfordshire County Council - Building Future award in 2009 and was shortlisted for RIC Sustainability national award in 2009.